Starting Five

Dec. 2, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

– Georgia Tech looks to get back in the win column, taking on Conference USA’s Tulane Green Wave in its first true road game of the 2011-12 season. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time at Fogelman Arena.

The Yellow Jackets are looking to bounce back from their 76-60 loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in their Philips Arena debut. Jason Morris put up a career-high 21 points, Mfon Udofia continued his strong play, with 12 points and Daniel Miller just missed a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down a team-high nine rebounds.

The Green Wave raised its record to 8-0 in its last game, taking care of Southern, 78-53, at Fogelman Arena. Kendall Timmons led the way with 21 points, 19 of them in the first half, when Tulane went on a 13-0 run to blow open the game. The 8-0 start is the school’s best in 20 years, when it started 13-0 and reached the second round of the NCAAs. The Green Wave is 6-0 at home this season.

Today’s game can be seen on the CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan calling the play-by-play and Pete Gillen providing color analysis. As always, the game can be heard on the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network’s flagship stations WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY (106.7 FM). Wes Durham and Randy Waters call the action as only they can. Fans also can hear the game on Sirius Radio, channel 128 and follow the game and get live stats on Ramblinwreck.com.

Here now, the starting five for today’s game.

Renewing Hostilities: Georgia Tech and Tulane haven’t met in a while but the schools have a long history, dating back to 1909 and with most of it coming when both schools were part of the Southeastern Conference. Today’s game is the 68th meeting, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 35-32 edge, but are only 9-20 on the road, 8-19 at Fogelman. While Tulane has won three of the last four meetings, the schools haven’t met since Jan. 2, 2003, an 80-66 Green Wave victory at Fogelman. The Jackets’ last win came on Dec. 27, 1990, a 95-83 win in the Sugar Bowl Tournament, held at the Superdome in New Orleans. The schools will meet again next season at McCamish Pavilion.

On The Defensive:. Georgia Tech has played superb defense early on in 2011-12. The Jackets are holding teams to 38.2 percent shooting (fourth in the ACC), allowing 59.4 points per game (fifth in the conference), and have held opponents below 40 percent shooting five times in their first seven games. Tech also is hitting the boards, as its plus-10.9 rebounding margin leads the ACC (it’s fourth in the nation), and their 39.7 rpg rank third in the conference. Northwestern, the top scoring team in the Big Ten was the first to hit 70 points against Tech, the first to shoot 50 percent against them and only the second to out-rebound them.

Take it, Kam: Kammeon Holsey needs to shoot more. The redshirt sophomore, who had been hindered by knee troubles in his first two years at Tech, is hitting close to 71 percent of his shots over the team’s first seven games. He would lead the ACC in field goal percentage, but doesn’t qualify because he’s only taken 48 shots. North Carolina’s John Henson leads the conference, shooting 54.9 percent. Holsey, who had only two double-figure scoring games in his debut season last year, hit for double-digits in five straight games prior to being held to three points against Northwestern — he took only three shots.

One-man Swat Team: Center Daniel Miller has been throwing his own personal block party in the paint. He has blocked 20 shots (his 2.9 blocks per game rank second in the ACC) and is coming on. Since heading to Charleston with three blocks in his first two games, the redshirt sophomore has blocked 17 shots, 3.4 per game and has blocked at least three shots in a game in four of the last five games. The only game he didn’t was against Northwestern, when he had two blocks. Miller’s 87 career blocks in 38 games (2.3 per game) leave him one shy of tying James Forrest (1992-95) for 12th place all-time in school history and he is seven away from breaking into the school’s top 10. Miller also is 7-for-7 in winning opening taps this season.

The Return of Big Mo: Jason Morris had a breakout game against Northwestern. Morris, led the Jackets with 21 points, hitting six of 11 shots, two of three from behind the arc and all seven of his free throw attempts. In his previous four games, Morris scored 14 points on 4-for-23 shooting (0-for-7 from three), while only getting to the free throw line eight times.

The Sixth Man: The Yellow Jackets have been getting superb bench production all season long, something that has been helped recently by bringing big guns Glen Rice and Jason Morris off the bench. The duo combined for 31 of the team’s 60 points against Northwestern (51.6 percent of the team’s points). With Rice and Morris coming off the bench, Tech has had a whopping 73-22 edge in bench points in its last two games and holds a 159-104 edge overall.

TECH LEADING SCORER: Glen Rice, 15.8 ppg; TULANE LEADING SCORER: Kendall Timmons, 14.9 ppg

TECH LEADING REBOUNDER: Daniel Miller, 8.3 rpg; TULANE LEADING REBOUNDER: Josh Davis, 11.0 rpg.

TECH PPG: 67.1 ppg; OPP. PPG: 59.4 ppg

TULANE PPG: 74.5 ppg; OPP. PPG: 51.6 ppg.

TULANE Player to Watch: Josh Davis: The sophomore transfer from N.C. State has been double trouble for opponents. He’s averaging 14.4 points and 11.0 rebounds and leads the nation with six double-doubles. This season he set his career-highs for scoring, with 23 points vs. Nicholls State on Nov. 15, and rebounding, pulling down 15, on the 27th against San Diego. The 6-8, 215-pound forward is a beast on the offensive glass, as he has a team-leading 23 offensive boards, 10 more than the nearest teammate, and is third on the team in assists (2.8 per game) and steals.

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